There is nothing more refined, elegant, relaxing and indulgent than the ritual of Afternoon Tea. I became an expert on the subject in the summer of 2008 when I created the Afternoon Tea program for the Union Club of British Colombia in beautiful Victoria, British Colombia. I hit the ground running that summer by visiting over 15 of the capitals famous tea houses. I remember running around the city sipping on hundreds of ornate tea cups and nibbling on a wild assortment of scones, sweet treats and petite sandwiches. I quickly learned that market research can be a delicious chore.
I have enjoyed Afternoon Tea’s all over the world and am constantly on the lookout for the next best experience. So in late November when I started to plan a winter press trip to Niagara I was certain to feature the regions most famous offering. I brought my mom and grandpa along for the ride as I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to treat them to a refined and memorable sipping experience.
The Prince of Wales Hotel was originally established in 1864 and its current name was chosen in honour of the 1901 visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake by the Duke and Duchess of York, who were later crowned King George V and Queen Mary. This would be my second visit to the property and arrived with fond memories of a family Christmas lunch I enjoyed at their fine dining concept Escabeche a few years ago.
Upon arrival we were whisked through their tea room which is absolutely adorable featuring a colourful collection of antiques, tea pots, candelabras and portraits of British nobility. We were seated in a little sun room surrounded by floor to ceiling glass with views overlooking the main street. Shortly after selecting our teas we found ourselves sipping on dainty cups while storytelling our way through the early afternoon.
The nibbly selection was a delight featuring piping hot scones right out of the oven, local ice wine jelly and raspberry preserves as well as a tray of sandwiches and pastries. I stared out at the snow filled streets, happy to be warming my finger tips on a hot cup. I smiled as I watched my grandfather and mother rambling on about this and that. A memorable experience at the Prince of Wales we won’t soon forget and a perfect spot to bring grandparents, mothers and fans of the loose leaf.
Himalayan Vintage black tea
Deep Green Embrace herbal tea
ham, cheddar cheese, mango chutney on whole wheat
egg salad, dill on marble rye
salmon salad on fennel
cucumber and goat cheese pinwheel
scones with local jam, butter, devon cream
lemon curd tard with almond crust
milk chocolate creme brulee with mandarin orange
fruit vol au vent with grand marnier vanilla cream
chocolate dipped shortbread